Moyes faces sack if Man U fail against Olympiakos and City
Old Trafford humbling at the hands of Liverpool leaves United manager close to the exit
LIVERPOOL'S stunning win over Manchester United at Old Trafford is set to become one of the abiding memories of this season. Last year's champions were demolished in front of their own fans by a Liverpool side that is genuinely in with a chance of winning its first title for 24 years.
The result confirms a seachange in the balance of power in the Premier League.
"This was a perfect illustration of two teams moving in opposite directions," says The Times. "Liverpool free-flowing, wonderfully exciting and ever more ambitious under Brendan Rodgers; United abject, turgid and increasingly forlorn under David Moyes."
While the result definitively establishes Liverpool as title challengers, the real impact of the drubbing will be felt in Manchester, where the death knell for David Moyes may have been sounded.
The Scot has come under increasing fire as United's season has unravelled, and his tactical acumen has been questioned. The performances against Olympiakos in the Champions League first leg and also against Fulham, when United delivered an astonishing 81 crosses, have raised questions about his suitability for the United job, and there was more criticism after the Liverpool game.
"Moyes waited until the 76th minute before making two substitutions, Tom Cleverley for Fellaini and Danny Welbeck for Januzaj, which changed little," says Michael Cox in The Guardian. "There was no attempt to improve the defensive shape, no substitution to help United cope in midfield and no action taken to change the misfiring front two. Moyes did not appear to understand how to fix United's problems, an analysis which also applies in a much broader sense."
The United boss simply has to turn things round, not just to salvage what he can from United's season but to save his job. There were no boos at Old Trafford at the end of the game, but that does not mean the manager is safe.
"If United go out of the Champions League against Olympiakos on Wednesday night, and then lose against Manchester City, there will be serious doubts over whether Moyes can continue," writes Alan Hansen in the Daily Telegraph.
"United have never been a sacking club and the supporters have loyally stuck with Moyes despite all the lows but there are huge question marks over how the club’s owners are feeling right now."
United's home record this season is worse than Stoke's and equal to Norwich and Newcastle points out the Daily Mail, which adds that United have scored only 18 goals at Old Trafford, the same number as bottom club Fulham have managed at Craven Cottage.
"After a result like that, David Moyes must be thinking, 'What is going to happen to me here?'" writes Jamie Redknapp.